Kristine Svinicki

Kristine Svinicki was first appointed to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (U.S. NRC) in 2008 by President Obama. She was then re-appointed to that role by three successive United States presidents. She was designated Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission by President Donald J. Trump on January 23, 2017. By the time Svinicki stepped down as Chairman of the NRC in early 2021, she had become the longest-serving member in the agency’s history. Hallmarks of her distinguished tenure include growing a culture of “swing for the fences” transformative thinking in agency processes and advancing the use of previously untapped technologies to surmount the challenges of the COVID-19 public health emergency and deliver sustained assurance of nuclear safety and security to the American public.

Prior to her appointment to the U.S. NRC, Svinicki served as an expert and policy advisor for over a decade to members of the United States Senate on topics ranging from energy to national security. She previously managed nuclear research and development programs at the U.S. Department of Energy and worked as an energy analyst for the State of Wisconsin.

Sviniki is an internationally recognized policy expert and innovator with over 30 years of public service at the state and federal levels and in both the legislative and executive branches. Before joining the NRC, Svinicki spent over a decade as a staff member in the United States Senate advancing a wide range of policies and initiatives related to national security, science and technology, and energy and the environment. She also served as a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee where she was responsible for the Committee’s portfolio of defense science and technology programs and policies, and for the atomic energy defense activities of the U.S. Department of Energy, including nuclear weapons, nuclear security, and environmental programs.

Previously, Svinicki worked as a nuclear engineer in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Washington, D.C. Offices of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology, and of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, as well as its Idaho Operations Office, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Before that, she was an energy engineer with the State of Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Public Service Commission in Madison, Wisconsin.

Born and raised in Michigan, Svinicki earned a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Michigan in 1988. She is a longstanding member of the American Nuclear Society and the Society has twice honored her with its Presidential Citation in recognition of her contributions to the nuclear energy policies of the United States. Chairman Svinicki was named Woman of the Year by the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment in 2013. She was selected as a Stennis Congressional Fellow of the 108th Congress and as a Brookings Institution Legis Congressional Fellow in 1997. She has been honored by the University of Michigan College of Engineering as its 2009 Alumni Merit Award recipient for Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences and, in 2017, was awarded the College’s Alumni Medal.

She was selected as a Brookings Institution Fellow in 1997 and as a John C. Stennis Congressional Fellow of the 108th U.S. Congress.

Svinicki is currently an Adjunct Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Radiologic Sciences at the University of Michigan and sits on the boards of TerraPower and Southern Company.

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